Part 128: Marsh MadnessPART 128: MARSH MADNESS
Bianca travels to Amaranthine in search of Kristoff, a missing Grey Warden...
[Our quest begins in an inn, as all good quests should.]
Something I can do for you, friend?
Did a Grey Warden named Kristoff come through here?
And who are you supposed to be that's asking?
I am Bianca, also a Grey Warden. You know, Bianca? About six months ago I saved the world from the Blight? My face on every woodcut in the land? That Bianca?
A dwarf? Truly? I suppose I... well, never mind that.
Haven't seen that fellow Kristoff for almost a week now. Not sure where he went.
His room's paid up to the end of the month. I guess he expected he'd be here a while.
Did you ever speak to Kristoff?
Not much. He chatted up Sorcha a bit when she brought him his dinner. Maybe talk to her.
I'd like the key to Kristoff's room.
Of course! Here you go.
Why did I bother learning to lockpick when asking strangers for their keys is so much easier.
It's the last room at the end of the hall. If he comes back and gets upset, however, it's on your head.
I can't believe he didn't recognise me. Me! Bianca! The Hero of Ferelden.
Look on the bright side, if more people recognised you, we'd get attacked less often. Wait no, I mean, if more people recognised you, we'd get more gifts from the grateful citizenry. Wait no... Hmm. Maybe you should try to be more recognisable.
Maybe wear a hat.
With "The Hero of Ferelden" written on it!
Maybe I need to hang out with more respectable people.
Looking to wet your whistle, stranger?
I understand you spoke to Kristoff?
We chatted a bit. He was a friendly sort, for a Grey Warden.
You try spending your time staring death in his bony face, and see how chipper you are.
Spent most of his nights here, drinking. Wasn't ever loud or too forward. Haven't seen him for maybe a week, now?
Just how friendly were you two?
We chatted, like I said. He's married, as I recall.
I thought we weren't allowed to get married?
You're thinking of the Jedi. We're a totally different group of warrior monks.
Did he ever talk about what he was doing?
Said he was tracking some darkspawn. One particular group that's been raiding outside the city.
He told me they were acting strange, those darkspawn. Acting obvious, like they wanted to be caught or something.
I expect he caught them. Probably why he hasn't been back, right?
Where did he go? Do you know?
No. He took a lot of notes while he drank, always writing thing down. Maybe there's something in his room?
Thanks for the answers.
My pleasure. Send him my best when you see him.
This room is nice! I didn't know the Wardens paid so much in travel expenses.
We don't. If Kristoff's alive, he's going to be having a long chat with HR.
There's even a hot tub!
Let's see here...
I really hope I don't have to tell this nice woman that her husband's dead.
Look! A Clue.
I do not like the sound of that place.
I've got some bad news for you then.
A DAMP JOURNEY LATER...
Yes, this is about what I expected.
The darkspawn have been here. You can already smell them.
(Shrieks) I thought I saw a... I mean... Ahem.
I'm scared. Hold me.
[Whole lotta wolves in this swamp.]
I can see some buildings over there...
Probably, but why would I want to?
Could you freeze it?
Why do you want me to kill the bush?
Because it's there! It's an evil bush! Do it!
Magic isn't for your amusement! Why don't I just do a little dance? Anders Spicy Shimmy?
Oh, eww. I'll pass.
[ I like these two together. Sigrun seems to be the only party member who can rattle Anders.]
Our first skeleton of the day. I wonder if the wolves got him, or...
Suicide by dick joke.
Heh heh heh... 'rooster'.
[The clue leads us into a treasure hunt, which we'll continue later.]
These are dragon bones! Do you think we could put it pack together?
[We can, and we will.]
[There are five bones scattered around the marsh. Gotta catch 'em all, for some reason.]
It almost looks like... some manner of hole in the very air itself? It may be dangerous.
If only I had some sort of poorly defined superpower to seal those things. Maybe in a future adventure.
[Approaching the village causes a murder of crows to take flight. It's very Castlevania.]
Hmm. It's been dead for days.
That answers that, I suppose. The darkspawn are definitely here.
I wonder what killed him.
[Whole lotta werewolves in this swamp.]
They're not going to get many tourists with a welcome like that.
Hen house... hen house... roosters.
So, we're looking for a lamp.
I am not surprised this man's relationship failed.
[Another clue for the treasure hunt sidequest.]
[There are actually a ton of sidequests in this abandoned village. Here's another one- this letter is the confession of man who sold out people who trusted him, felt guilty about it and buried his blood money in the swamp for us to find. The confession's too long to have in post, so I'm including it in the codex section at the bottom of this update- it's 'Karsten Wilde's Last Testament'.
It is also a clue as to the screwed up things that were happening in this town, but we'll find more information on that later.]
Amazing these records have survived so long in a marsh.
What's this? A babys plaything?
You wanted a pony.
You paid attention to what I said when I was drunk? That's... special. Oh, hey, want to buy a bridge?
Too bad it's not a real pony, huh? (Laughs) Just as well. The real ones poop!
This is... ha! You make me laugh, Commander. Thanks.
[Oghren really, really likes the toy horse]
[The only path open to us leads back out of the village.]
[Where wolves? There... no, I'm pretty sure I've done that joke a hundred times in this LP so far.]
Cool, more dragon bits.
[A werewolf ended up out of bounds somehow.]
Need a hand down there?
Seems like you're stuck.
I'm just... enjoying the sea breeze.
Looks like a camp ahead.
[Shadow wolves are real sons of bitches. They attack from stealth and can use Overwhelm to take characters out of combat for a while.]
[They drop cool loot though. Did the wolf eat a templar, or did he used to be one?]
This doesn't look good.
[The camp also has a locket for us to find. Poor Aura.]
[Nearby is another clue for the treasure hidden by the suicide dick joke guy.]
Oh, I know this one!
[This clue is right back where the dragon skull was. We don't know where the fishermen rest yet though.]
Creepy. I wonder what happened here.
A page from some sort of journal.
Definitely blood magic. And some classism to spice things up.
[There are Veil Tears all throughout this area, blocking off sections of the marsh.
Also, lots and lots of wolves, werewolves, blight wolves, shadow wolves, blight werewolves, shadow werewolves, blight shadow wolves, blight shadow werewolves, wolf wolves, wolf shadows, blight shadows, wolf blights, blight blights, wolf wolves, blighty wolfy shadowy werey wolves, and slimes.]
[Nearby is the cache of Karsten, the guy who left a confession back in the village. He sold out his friends for...]
One sovereign?! Life comes cheap out here.
I recognise those pods...
: Yet more of these creatures. Disgusting.
[Past the Children is a prominent corpse, but we'll deal with them later. First things first- treasure time!]
Stones? There's stones everywhere. Should've been more specific if he wanted to get his rooster wet.
[This clue is back at the stone circle we found. The final clue isn't specific, we just have to search every pond in the region.]
[It's actually in a pond right by the stone circle.]
Nice ring though.
[That's enough treasure hunting for one update. Back to the plot.]
Yes, that is your Grey Warden.
The Mother told it to me that if he was lured to this place, and slain, that in time you would come.
And the Mother she was right. The Mother is always right.
Who is this "mother?"
The Mother is she that sent me, she that wished you to come. To here, this place.
Great, thanks. That answered all my questions.
I... here before you is the First, and I am bringing to you a message.
The Mother, she is not permitting you to further his plan, whether this you know or not. So she is sending you a gift.
[I love the First's weird speech patterns.]
Gas? For me? You shouldn't have.
Oh hell, is this the Fade?
No! We have come to the Fade as well? It cannot be this!
You weren't 'first' in your class, I take it.
The Mother she has decieved me! I am betrayed!
I never could trust my mother either.
Now I am being trapped in the Fade with you! Ah, I am the fool!
Looks like someone was considered expendable.
I am the First! I am not being "expendable!" Both the Grey Warden and the Mother shall be learning this!
I will be leaving you to the Children. I will be finding my own path back into the world! Back to the Mother!
NEXT TIME: GOD FUCKING DAMMIT, IT'S THE FUCKING FADE AGAIN
NEW CODEX CONTENT:
Tears in the Veil
Karsten Wilde's Last Testament